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Monday, December 20, 2010

Motivational Monday: "Seeing Christmas Through New Eyes"

Edited from: Dieter F. Uchtdorf  Seeing Christmas through New Eyes," 2010 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, (December 5, 2010).  This was my favorite talk during the Christmas Devotional. You can read the whole talk here and see the message given by Elder Uchtdorf here.

The Grinch, that memorable character from a classic children’s story by Dr. Seuss, had a heart that “was two sizes too small,” and he hated everything about Christmas. Through the course of the story, however, he undergoes a dramatic transformation when he learns that there is more to Christmas than decorations and gifts. 

Perhaps the Grinch’s story is so memorable because, if we are honest, we may be able to relate to him. Who among us has not felt concern over the commercialization and even greed of the Christmas season? Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by the packed calendars, the stress of finding gifts, the pressure of planning meals and events? In fact, psychologists tell us that during this season of cheer and goodwill, many feel sorrow and depression.
We know what the Christmas season ought to be—we know it should be a time of reflection on the birth of the Savior, a time of celebration and of generosity. But sometimes our focus is so much on the things that annoy and overwhelm us that we can almost hear ourselves say in unison with the Grinch: “Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! . . . But HOW?

While it’s true that we can find materialism and anxiety in Christmas, it is also true that if we have eyes to see, we can experience the powerful message of the birth of the Son of God and feel the hope and peace He brings to the world. We, like the Grinch, can see Christmas through new eyes.
Rejoice in the Birth of Our Savior. We celebrate the birth of the Son of God, the Creator, our Messiah. We rejoice that the King of kings came to earth, was born in a manger, and lived a perfect life.
  When Jesus was born, the joy in heaven was so great it could not be contained, and angelic hosts parted the veil, proclaiming unto shepherds “good tidings of great joy, . . . praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Wise Men “rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when . . . they saw the young child with Mary his mother, [they] fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts. 

It is only fitting that we—like the Wise Men, shepherds, and angels—take time to rejoice and celebrate that glorious first Christmas Day.
If we look for what is wrong with the Christmas season, we can surely find it. Like the Grinch, we can grumble and complain, becoming cold and cynical about what we see around us. Nevertheless, if we look for the good, we can see this time of year with new eyes—perhaps even with the eyes of a child. 

The Grinch saw the good in Christmas when he learned to look past its worldly trappings. If we do the same, we can, with the Grinch, proclaim: “Maybe Christmas . . . doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!”
Our heart may not grow three sizes as the Grinch’s did, but our heart will change. Our eyes will open to the miracles all around us—at Christmastime and throughout the year. 

I pray that during this season and always, we will see the purity of the story of the Savior’s birth and feel sincere gratitude for His life, teachings, and saving sacrifice for us. May this gratitude cause us to renew our determination to follow Him. May it also lead us to draw closer to our family, our church, and our fellowmen. And may we look steadfastly forward to that blessed day when the resurrected Christ will walk the earth again as our Lord, our King, and our blessed Savior.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our House was T.P.'ed

 I guess you "arrive" in high school when you wake up in the morning and find that your house has been toilet papered.
 Saturday morning I opened the blinds and turned on the Christmas tree lights, looked out the window and saw that our house was toilet papered. I told Brady to come and look - because this is all his fault - LOL! He looked and laughed. I told him he had to clean it up (of course).

He put on his shoes and coat and cleaned up the toilet paper - AFTER I made him take pictures :-D. It rained a few hours later - and I was really glad it was all picked up. I am really glad we don't have any big trees.
 Brady felt "LOVED"... Oh, I don't know... maybe noticed. He posted on facebook and hoped someone would confess or tell on the culprit - but it's still a mystery who showed Brady love.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winterland Parade

It is time for Meridian's Winterland Parade!! It was held on December 4th at 10 am in the morning. This year we were smart and took sleeping bags to sit in. We were warmer this year even though it was snowing during the parade. Here is Brady waiting patiently for the parade to begin, with some characters in the back ground. We always wear Santa hats to the parade - very festive.
 Here is the beginning.
 Lots of fun floats.
 Stuffed animals.
 Cars that look like Santa.
 Singing and dancing.

 Spiderman??? Not sure what this has to do with Christmas... but he was there protecting the streets in Meridian.

 Beautiful Princesses with Reindeer horses.

 Pretty girls. Lots of candy was dropped in our laps. One of the things about being bundled in sleeping bags, you can't get up and get candy off the ground. I think because it was snowing - the crowd was smaller and so people dumped candy in adult laps. It was fun.
Santa!!! It really is Santa and Mrs. Santa... and the end of the parade.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Motivational Monday: "M&Ms" (GIft Idea/Devotional)

As you hold these candies
In your hand,
And turn them,
You will see.
The M becomes a W.
An E and then a 3.
They tell the Christmas story,
It's one I'm sure you know.
It took place in a stable.
A long, long, time ago.
The E is for East,
Where the star shone so bright.
The M if for the Manger,
Where Baby Jesus slept that night.
The 3 is for the Wisemen,
Bearing gifts, they say they came.
W is for Worship, Hallelujah,
Praise His Name.
So as you eat these candies.
Or share them with a  friend.
Remember the meaninig of Christmas
It's a Love Story that never ends.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Real Meaning of Christmas

My Niece shared this on her blog and I loved it.

It made me laugh and cry at the same time. Such a sweet little voice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No Shave November

During November it is a tradition not to shave the whole month - No-shave-vember. Instead we have scruffy looking boys who get to enjoy having whiskery faces.
 Here is Jason's fuzzy face. He's pretty cute, but Sharon doesn't like kissing these whiskers - LOL!
 Now on to my 16 year old. All of the high school boys didn't shave this month either. I thought Brady would win over Jason, but his whiskers are blonder and harder to see. But, WOW - he is a hairy 16 year old.
 You can hardly notice his whiskers in the photo, but he had quite a good beard going on. To bad you really can't see the blonde whiskers.
Neck action. He sure look scruffy. It was funny sending him for Thanksgiving and all the teasing my family gave him. My brothers and nephews don't grow hair like my boys. Both of my boys take after their fathers genes. I don't know if that is a good thing, because they have to shave every day :-(.

Now that it is December, Brady is clean shaven again. I like him better - not so scruffy. Jason has decided  not to shave all winter, much to Sharon's demise.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Motivational Monday - "Christ the real gift of Christmas"

By focusing on your loved ones, enjoying or building holiday traditions, and following the Savior's example of service, you can give yourself and your family true, lasting Christmas gifts.
 Simplify your Christmas by embracing the spiritual side of the season.
The gift of Christmas isn't wrapped up in presents or parties. The gift of Christmas is Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Son of God. As you follow Him, you put people first. You may spend less time in lines and more time serving others. You may spend less money on - and more time with - the people you love. You may lose yourself and you may find everything else that matters.
Replace some holiday decorations in your home with reminders of Christ.

Politely decline requests that will take you away from family.

Play more Christmas music.

Donate gently used items to a thrift store.

Go Christmas caroling.

Avoid “mad rush” shopping times.

Say thank you as often as possible.

Schedule a night to help another person or family.

Call someone you normally wouldn't to wish him or her a Merry Christmas.

Delegate some holiday preparations to children or other family members.

Trim the gift list.

Simplify a traditional activity.

Find quiet time to pray.

Write down great memories as they happen.

Set and stick to a holiday budget.

Forgive a grudge.


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